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Russia's Roman Pavlyuchenko has told the Sport-Express daily
Russia's Roman Pavlyuchenko has told the Sport-Express daily that the mood at Tottenham Hotspur improved considerably after the team's first league victory.

Tottenham, who made their worst ever start to the season, beat Bolton Wanderers 2-0 on Sunday. Pavlyuchenko opened the scoring with a well-placed header in the 17th minute. He was later substituted after suffering a slight knock.

Since signing for London club Tottenham Hotspur from Spartak Moscow at the end of August in a reported $28 million deal, Pavlyuchenko had only previously scored in a Carling Cup tie against Newcastle.

"The most important thing wasn't my goal but the team's victory," the 26-year-old striker said. "At today's training session everyone was, at last, smiling. Before, there were only frowns."

Tottenham fired their coach, Spaniard Juan Ramos, at the weekend and brought in Portsmouth manager Harry Rednapp. Pavlyuchenko noted that the side's tactics had changed under the English manager, and that he had begun to operate in his more customary role.

"Our tactics changed slightly. I started to play further forward, like I'm used to doing for Russia and Spartak. I went back less, played less on the flanks - I acted like an out-and-out center forward ... I'm more used to that," he said.

"Ramos is a good trainer," Pavlyuchenko said of the man who had brought him to England after his three goals at this summer's Euro 2008. "But that's soccer."

The forward also said that he had a "short" chat with new manager Rednapp.

"He asked me how I was. We didn't have a long conversation," Pavlyuchenko said, adding that the language barrier remained a problem, but that he was making every effort to learn English.

"The amount of words I know is increasing every day," he said, laughing. "When Spartak come to visit I'll be able to talk to my former teammates in English."

Spartak Moscow and Tottenham have been drawn together in the UEFA Cup Group D. However, the Russian international is ineligible to face his old club, having already appeared for them in the Champions League qualifying stages.

Tottenham face Arsenal away from home in the North London derby on Wednesday.

"The main derby for my new club is against Arsenal. It's like Spartak Moscow versus CSKA Moscow. The fans are ready to forgive the side anything for the sake of victory over the 'Gunners'. They told me straight off - score against Arsenal and you'll become a hero," Pavlyuchenko earlier told the sports.ru website.

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